Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said Monday that he repeatedly warned President Donald Trump against hiring former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“I didn’t think that he was someone who would bring benefit to the President or to the administration,” Christie said at a news conference, as quoted by the Washington Post. “I made that very clear to candidate Trump, and I made it very clear to President-elect Trump.”
Christie said he was “not going to get into specifics” regarding his misgivings about Flynn.
“Some of it involves classified information that I’m just not at liberty to discuss,” he said. “I was not informed in any way about him or anyone else being under investigation.”
Christie said he and Flynn “didn’t see eye-to-eye” and that the retired lieutenant general was not his “cup of tea.”
“If I were president-elect of the United States, I wouldn’t let General Flynn in the White House, let alone give him a job,” Christie said.
He reportedly had to calm Flynn down in September 2016 during one of Trump’s first intelligence briefings as president-elect, which Christie attended as an adviser. According to NBC News, Flynn interrupted intelligence officials so many times that Christie touched Flynn’s arm in an effort to calm him down.
At the time, Christie denied those reports. The embattled New Jersey governor, whose approval ratings hit an all-time low in January, has nevertheless become more critical of Trump’s administration as the last year of his own term as governor wears on.
In February, Christie said Trump’s staff would “develop experiences over time.”
“I don’t think you get the learning curve just by winning the election,” he said, responding to reports that members of Trump’s administration pushed the FBI to publicly dispute reports of contact between Trump’s aides and Russian officials before the election. “I can guarantee this, I don’t think the chief of staff will ever have that kind of conversation with the FBI, with FBI personnel, again.”
Indeed, the New York Times reported last week that Trump himself asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down his bureau’s investigation into Flynn, part of its probe into possible contacts between Trump’s associates and Russia.